New York rapper KRS-One has been honoured with a street mural in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a place where he was once homeless. The painting on 2nd St. near 1st Ave is by Italian artist Jorit, in honour of hip-hop’s 50th birthday.
KRS spoke to Fox 5 NY earlier in the week and admitted that being honoured with the mural eclipses the other successes in his career. “Wow! Just wow!” the rapper explained. “There is no award that is above this. I grew up here. KRS-One grew up in this neighbourhood and was less than every single person here. I was homeless. I might have slept right there. [Hip Hop taught me] I can do anything.”
Elsewhere, Joris discussed why he chose to immortalise the rapper: “KRS-One is aggressive but he always looked to unite the aggressiveness and force of rap with positive messages.”
Demonstrative of the positivity KRS is famous for, in July 2022, he teamed up with Chuck D, Doug E. Fresh, and Kurtis Blow to establish the non-profit organisation, The Hip-Hop Alliance. The organisation promotes fair wages, royalties, and robust health and retirement benefits for hip-hop and R&B artists. Chuck D is presently The Alliance’s President.
Following its establishment last month, The Alliance openly responded to comments from Bow Wow about the genre needing a board. They’ve now invited him to join them in discussing the matter.
“Hip hop needs a board!” Bow Wow originally wrote. “No different than the NBA w/ the players association. A committee. That can set rules and keep things in control and protect this thing we call hip hop! And have a retirement plan for the og rappers. I hate seeing my heros liquor’d out no money just washed.”
“Like every other aspect of society’s workforce, the artists and creators of Hip Hop need protection, support and advocacy,” The Hip Hop Alliance explained in their responding statement. “From label disputes to intellectual property retrieval and the need for an overall governing body, the Hip Hop Alliance was established.
They continued: “Recent comments this weekend created a unique opportunity to bring forth a conversation that many in Hip Hop & R&B have been addressing for a long time. The need of a governing body of Hip Hop. The goal of HHA is to empower artists to make informed decisions about their career and ensure that their rights are respected and protected.”